Convergence in the nomination of a single candidate in the presidential race in 2022 between the parties of the political center is still unlikely. Uncertainties and obstacles have left the third path wide and congested. Since there is almost a year left until the next president of the republic is determined, at least 11 preliminary candidates are participating in the dispute. Among them is Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco, who joined the SDP yesterday and unofficially joined the queue.
This scenario mirrors the movement of presidential candidates who currently hold leading positions in voting intent polls, starting with President Jair Bolsonaro himself, who is working hard to create the conditions for re-election. This year, Bolsonaro has bolstered the street agenda with supporters, including motorcycles, and most recently launched Auxílio Brasil, a social program that will replace Bolsa Família.
Former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (PT) has devoted himself to party meetings since he was once again granted the right to vote by the Supreme Court (STF). After his convictions in Operation Love Yato were overturned and he returned to political chess, the PT has a big lead in polls, prompting a rethinking of strategies on the right and left.
In the now overcrowded center, candidates running for the Planalto Palace have in turn been suspended. Three answers are considered fundamental to the third path of realization: who will win the toucans? Will Sergio Moro be a candidate? Will Bolsonaro be able to stop the decline in popularity and remain a competitive candidate in 2022?
At least one definition will be given from the first question. If the elected one is Sao Paulo Governor João Doria, PSDB is unlikely to agree to draw up a presidential ticket that is not led by a party. If Rio Grande do Sul Governor Eduardo Leite wins, analysts see the opportunity as possible and even likely, making the other cuts easier to understand.
“The outcome of this dispute will be determined by the agreements between the central parties. If Leite wins and agrees to become vice president – which, incidentally, is the wish of the party wing – he will open the way for other names to do the same. Doria would hardly have the same character. It is in this sense that previews matter outside of PSDB, ”said political scientist Lara Mesquita of the Center for Public Sector Policy and Economics Research (CepESP) at FGV-SP.
The definition of toucans may also affect another issue that has not yet been resolved: the election of former judge and former minister Sergio Moro. While still participating relatively well in voting intent polls, gaining between 5% and 10% depending on the scenario, Moreau has never confirmed or ruled out interest in Planalto. Leaving the door open to collect the ticket, the former judge approaches Doria for possible cooperation.
Even if he confirms his Podemos affiliation in the coming days, the ultimate Lava Jato symbol will face a number of obstacles to make the presidential candidacy viable. Beginning with a search for allies, Moreau faces strong political opposition as the operation affected dozens of MPs in Congress.
However, for political scientist Christopher Garman, the dominant factor in determining the third path with the odds of winning is not in the answers of PSDB or Moreau, but in the president’s popularity ratings. “What the center lacks to be competitive is space. For a third way to appear, the president needs to be weakened even further. Today, when his approval is between 25% and 30%, those chances are very low. According to our estimates, this level will need to be lowered by another ten points, ”said the executive director of Eurasia for the Americas.
Determined to shrink this center and at the same time attract PT voters, Bolsonaro is putting his chips on Auxílio Brasil, regardless of the economic burden that the granting of the benefit could cause him, such as higher interest rates and still high inflation.
For an economist and journalist state Ana Carla Abrao, the expectation of a worsening economic situation can help in building a candidacy that concentrates support in the center. “Brazil is always reacting to the abyss. And we are on the verge of this. This, at the same time that it creates risks and big problems for us, contributes to a consensus around a name that opposes PT and Bolsonaro. The economic crisis, which has already arrived and which will be exacerbated in a populist way, on which the government now shamelessly demonstrates that it imposes extremely high economic and social costs on us, is creating an alternative, ”said Ana Carla.
A poll leader, Lula focuses on the discourse of economic and social recovery while working to expand her circle of alliances. The PT is trying to move towards the center to prove its viability in the market and to attract the same democratic center.
It is in this scenario that other names are trying to establish themselves as an option for voters who reject Bolsonaro’s persistence and Lula’s return. Chiro Gomes (PDT) has already stated that he will not withdraw his name from the controversy. Ranked third in 2018, PDT has received party approval to run for president for the fourth time, and is gradually shaping its strategy through a call, a government plan, and even a hired marketer: João Santana, ex-PT. Speech and image have been adapted, as well as the desired union arc, which now includes even parties to the right such as DEM and PSL.
Former Minister of Health Luis Enrique Mandetta (DEM) and TV host Jose Luis Datena (PSL) are some of the names Ciro spoke to to form the ticket. Still scoring points in polls, Mandetta has already announced his agreement to become vice president, but like Datena, he expects the direction his party will take when merging with PSL in the new União Brasil.
With the exception of Ciro, Bolsonaro, Lula and the toucans Doria, Leite, and Arthur Virgilio (also listed in the preview, but no real chance), running for president is a rudimentary project for other names.
Pacheco was released yesterday in a ceremony full of symbolism planned by PSD creator and national president Gilberto Cassab. The act of accession took place in Brasilia, at the memorial to Juscelino Kubitschek – Minas Gerais, peacemaker and democratic, just like the former mayor wants to “sell” Pacheco.
The President of Congress was appointed by the Allies as a name to end the division of the country and put reform and development plans at the top of the list of priorities sought by all sectors of the economy, as well as JK. He is a lawyer, young man, aggregator and center.
Less known to the electorate at large, Planalto has been joined by other potential competitors: political scientist Luis Felipe d’Avila from Novo and Senators Alessandro Vieira (Citizenship) and Simone Tebet (MDB), the only woman who has so far demonstrated intent to run for the presidency in 2022. …
Regardless of the name, Professor Lara Mesquita believes that polarization alternatives should narrow the candidacy space if they want to propose a specific option for voters next year. “This is a dispersal scenario today,” he said.
Information from the newspaper State of Sao Paulo.
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